In this episode, I chat with a lifetime entrepreneur and host of the daily podcast Discover Your Talent ~ Do What You Love – Don Hutcheson. We talk about how to know who you are, discover your true talents and abilities, and figure out how to use...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e266-how-to-know-who-you-are-with-don-hutcheson-mental-health-podcast/#show-notes
In this episode, I chat with a lifetime entrepreneur and host of the daily podcast Discover Your Talent ~ Do What You Love – Don Hutcheson. We talk about how to know who you are, discover your true talents and abilities, and figure out how to use them.
Don is also a coach and author. Except for the three years he served in the U.S. Army as a Russian Linguist, he has never had a “boss” and has been fortunate to have created six innovative companies in career planning, publishing, and advertising. He launched The Discover Your Talent Program to help individuals understand their natural talents and abilities and develop a personal vision and strategy for their education and career to live a life of success, satisfaction, and freedom on their own terms. The foundation of this work is the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB), which is owned and administered by The Highlands Company LLC.
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be joined by my friend Don Hutcheson, who is like me an entrepreneur, author and coach he's also an inventor and host the daily podcast Discover Your Talent ~ Do What You Love. Don, I'm very excited to have you here to bring some huge value to the Unbroken Nation. How are you my friend?
Don: I am doing great Michael. It's great to connect with you and I'm the delighted to have chance to check.
Michael: Yeah absolutely. I love your mission; I love your message. For those of you who don't know you can you give us a little bit of background and insight to your experience and to what brought you here with us today?
Don: Well, I have been an entrepreneur for a little over forty-five years, never had a boss except for uncle Sam, I served in the military for three years and where I was say a Russian linguist and I've been blessed to start six companies in the fields of two men publishing to an advertising and with the podcast and the career planning. As you said we have an international podcast we just record our one thousand interview, so we've been doing that for about five years, thank you. And the whole mission of the podcast is sharing people's journeys, their career journeys because as you know well the hardest problem that we have to face after consciousness is who am I and what am I supposed to be doing here, how do I do it and the hard part for was this. But that's what we focus on and we have a program the helps people do that to discovery your program and so it's been gratifying work I've been doing that work for about twenty-nine years and it's a fulfillment.
Michael: I love that Don. I think about fulfillment all the time and one of my greatest joys about being an entrepreneur is the fact that I get a live life on my terms. And I think so often one of the things that happens especially in American society as you're coming up through these systems that are actually built to make you an assembly worker, they're not built to give you the freedom to step into life on your terms. And so one of the things I'm always thinking about as someone who has been through so many traumatic experiences of my life is how you really start to like trust yourself enough to go through it. And so much of that for me I believe lies within understanding my innate abilities. One of the things I know that you talk about is that what does that mean like the power of understanding your innate ability?
Don: Let me also say that it's funny you talk about systems because I go author through a couple of books and once called and let me conspiracy, you know what limits are, right?
Don: Yeah. It's a metaphor for all the team works that run over this and mine conformity again. Systems are powerful whether it's a family system or religious system or corporate system or school system but we get caught in that matrix as you said and whether it's family members or coaches or teachers for the most part want the best for us but they don't know us they don't know who we are because that's our make journey. And so the job is up to us but it's so hard in a world that so short term oriented and so successfully oriented ended and so out focus to do that in work and that's one of the things our problem focuses on. And I think it's Seminole in today's world has been studying this issue for thirty years and their latest study around the world says that eighty-four percent of people are not in this sweet spot not using their talents and not feeling fulfilled, right? And in this great country land of opportunities sixty-seven percent following that into that number. So it's a staggering problem for people spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually and obviously on the business side it's a staggering problem financially for them productivity organizations.
Michael: Yeah. And I think about that often but it feels to me like so much of our experience growing up is to not so much step into our abilities but more so try to fall with within line of what we believe we're supposed to be doing to create a pathway of success. And I would argue that one of the biggest things that I've understood about myself is to leverage my abilities. So how like deep dive into that for me like how do you really understand your innate abilities and what call it god gifted whatever you're born with that gives you the ability to create success, power, longevity in the life that you wanna have?
Don: About thirty one years ago, I was the partner turned out to be a successful advertising agency I had brilliant creative partners and I happened upon an assessment this was literally in 1998 and I happened upon an assessment that was created by this genius general electric in Baltimore O’Connor and that assessment was designed to help you understand how you're hardwired what you're uncommon good at, it's not out cute, it's not skills, it's not interest on any of those factors. He created a series of assessments nineteen of them but you can tell when he was doing it there was seven hours and you can take these four work samples and those nineteen aptitude match up to all the occupations and professions on the planet and then he's been doing this or his organization has been doing this for ninety-nine years. So one of our superstars purchase my had secret the time had been through this and she had gone to a good school and she went off to an abbey school and ended up at our place. And she was quite extraordinary and we were in a cook out to July forward that year and I said how did you make your way? How did you figure yourself out? And she told me about this assessment and how similar it wants to her. So, about two weeks later they happen have an office that got eleven officers around the country that happened to have an office in Atlanta and I took this assessment and it was a eye opener because it literally told me how I'm hardwired and what I mean by that is I was then in my early forties and when I was going through school, I was a good student and my dad wanted me to look at dental because it was show the medical school. Well, I got into my freshman year of college and realized that I didn't have the slightest idea how chemistry works; in high school you can memorize the formula behind college you've got understand it. So anyway I ended up dropping chemistry picking up philosophy in German and making a four and I would have locked out, so I end up going like I told you, I go back memory I get on the army and became in entrepreneur. But I find out twenty five years later back to the building abilities; my abilities in science are tenth percentile they measure those, so you know if you have the abilities are use to be a public professional based on how your mind works and what I did find out is that I have high idea productivity and I'm a high specialist and the several other abilities that make me an inventor and a writer and a creative guy and I ended up by the grace of the great spirit following those instinctively getting into publishing right out the school with no experience and we're well and that and been getting into advertising doing one of that. But I could have found that out at forte and anybody could find that out at fourteen, imagine now-right now in this complex world where know people are trying to get into the best colleges or technical schools and looking to follow their interest but they don't know if they have capacity to do that, it does if you don't, it doesn't mean you can't, do it. It just means my favorite metaphor is this genius named Michael Jordan who was a genius and then he went off to try to play baseball, do you remember that story?
Michael: I do.
Don: Well how was he baseball?
Michael: Not that great.
Don: He was all and he's a genius. So he couldn't hit a curve ball so in fact he was on the cover of much to grant sports spread with some deadline that said come on Michael well now he went back to the NBA once several more in the championships, now he's a billionaire and a great businessman. But you don't want to be Michael Jordan playing baseball; you wanna be Michael Jordan in the flow playing basketball. And so this ability assessment was being the starting point for that. Again that I was in the army with for few years was a brilliant psychologist, we added other factors to that equation in fact that she pulls us over here when we studied the bring women and then scientist over the over the decades if you can see that shows up but there are other factors that play into this whole person model. So you've got your buildings that I just shared but then what you learned your skills, your interest or passions you care about your personal style your values, your goals what you are and all of that comes into this equation of what makes you and allows you to develop a blueprint at whatever age fourteen or eighty four where you can actually base your decisions from the inside out; that's why I call it the who instead of the outside in. So that's the executive summary, we've done this for tens of thousands of people and the assessment has been used over a million people and the empirical results are if you did this things we did one study with fortune five hundred companies and if you do these things your satisfaction, your performance, the teams performance next year, you know being in the flow increase exponentially.
Michael: I love that and I've had the benefit of spending time and working for fortune five hundred and even fortune ten companies of being exposed to information like you know Franklin Covey and Sigma six and things of that nature, right? What I'm always interested though more so is because I know that a lot of people listening to this show, you know they've come through this place which is a place where I used to be of not being clear concise and understanding on who they are. And then they go and they take one of these assessments, they get some ideas, you know maybe they even do the corporate training but they still feel trapped or even worse they feel scared, they feel the fear of like owning that. So Don, what does one do to like really step into taking ownership of this newfound knowledge?
Don: Well it's probably one of the great questions of our existence, right? I mean, I think and you know as well I mean you have to be in your own space the power of now is totally talks about it instead of being short term oriented and successfully in and out of directed you just have to get come to peace with yourself. And there are many modalities for that there's been one perfect modality everything from just being quiet, meditation, yoga, all kinds of different whatever your spirituality is it doesn't matter. But until you can be with your own self and and trust your own instincts which as you said earlier in the show people are so caught in the matrix and are looking outside themselves it's impossible to trust your instincts and until you to you do whatever programs you do, whatever introspection, whatever tools you can learn but then get out there and experience with your innate abilities and your skills and your values they experience new informational interviews through internships and find out when you are in the basketball flow instead of the baseball flow; is Michael Jordan found out. And it's a lifetime journey, I mean I don't care if you're making minimum wage or a billionaire. I'm one does you think that Bezos went into Spanish, I don't know but he's still looking, right? I mean he's done pretty well financially; he's got a great company but he's still exploring. And so you know I think it's one of the the seminal tasks that we have while we live on this point of existence.
Michael: Yeah, I love that and I love the Michael Jordan metaphor and thinking about flow maybe this is a meta flow, right? And in that what comes to mind is sometimes that thing that drives you, that thing that your passionate about, the thing that you love is where your energy should go and we fight our gut, we fight our intuition so strongly. And the one thing and I'll peg you back in quote tell what you just said the best that you can do is go explore because I'll tell you this I make mistakes every single day, I do things wrong every day and I've used that as data points so that I can create a measurement for understanding even better who I am. And I argue this, I had a conversation with someone I was coaching the other day and I said if you get to this place in your life where you measure your life and you go this is good enough and you stop challenging yourself, you will stop growing. I think the most important thing that we can do is just step into personal growth and just go I'm gonna see what happens because as much as I know the sun will rise tomorrow I know that I'm going to learn something about myself because I'm gonna take a risk. But here's what's really interesting Don, I factor all the risks choices, actions, decisions the things that I do say act and believe through my personal vision, through understanding what it is that I wanna do in accomplish in my life. And so many people will hear something like personal vision and go I have no idea what that means. Don, how do you create your personal vision?
Don: Well, like I said, I partnered with a buddy that with both Russian linguist and Germany during the Vietnam conflict and he got a PhD in clinical side and I went on to do in entrepreneur. So when I had this idea about this company that can help people create their own personal vision and understand their abilities it was a good concept I got all of homework but I wasn't scientist; he was a scientist to bring scientists. So we just put together in creating a model that comes with the whole person model that allowed you and we got a book called one Know Your Talent Critical Steps to Discover what you do best and that allows you through this scientific process is both science and intuition and consciousness to explore those eight dimensions of yourself and to you know their exercise is called thought experiments. And again whether it's the skills piece this which is what you can learn or the end of the abilities piece which is higher your hardwired and your values piece it allows you to do what you just said to get out there and actually you can do through of course and then you can go in the workplace to really experiential figure out, okay, this looks like a great fit from these factors but what about this, you know, all that doesn't work. I mean, I like using my analytical brain doing this but I don't wanna be in front a courtroom being a lit I won't be a corporate lawyer in the background doing research. So, you know, sounds obvious but those whatever the professional occupation is you've got to look at yourself as a multifaceted. As you know we're emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, social beings and we look at ourselves as Chester Bernard said in the fifties we hire people for their skills but the whole person shows up for work that's why we're call the whole person model; you are a whole person. And you know if you just look for a way to make a lot of money on way to use your technical skills or whatever without looking at those other personalization factors odds pretty good that you're going to not be in the flow, you're not going to maximize your talents and your values and create personal vision that's one lasting and makes you productive and create a good line but also satisfied.
Michael: Yeah Do. I'm super curious in this conversation what's your personal vision?
Don: Do good, have fun to make money.
Michael: Simple, concise.
Don: Well, I mean I figured out that I have the abilities to think outside the box as it happens after August is forty-six years. I can see the four by the bridge of the great spirit, I can see the forest stand trees, I can see the big picture, I can see there was a need in Atlanta or actually in the country for particularly innovative created that to with certain point of view that outside the box. But I also knew that the tactics of it were creating a culture with creative people that actually performed well together so had to put those two things together. So you know, I was able to do that in that role and then when I got into the Atlantic space, I realized the science was there but then I needed great professionals could deliver the work so we had to go through a process of finding the top coaches and counselors and so forth around the country and train them on this process. I like both things, I like having the conceptual idea but then I like putting into execution through the metallic and abilities and personal personalization of the members of the team or in to tribe whenever it is or however big it is.
Michael: Let me ask you this question and first up, I love that vision. I think it's a beautiful way to live and to share mind with you it's to end generational trauma in my lifetime like that's my vision and by any means necessary and that mainly means through education through expansion, through creating change by proxy. What I’m wondering, you know, do you think people's visions of what they can do in life are too small?
Don: It's a good question. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes it depends on how much reflection they've got I mean they're just you know a talented person with a strong personality and strong will and you don't wanna make a lot of money, look those okay that's part of it. But a lot of times I think there are a number of people who as you said about systems that get caught the matrix and then might accept physicians or opportunities that are less than fulfilling for their talents and their skills and abilities. So you know it just depends of where they are in know almost in terms of the developmental cycle because we go through all these turning points and the people under sell themselves and then there are a lot of people have there sell themselves and I think the whole secret is to find yourself and if once you do six in highly wrote the book flow the university of Chicago professor twenty years ago and when you do what we're talking about here and again as Michael Jordan basketball he's in the flow; you're on the flow because you're expressing yourself but you're also solving problems you could solve and you're engaging with systems or people that you can organizations, that you can influence and it's a rather seamless equation versus trying to be somebody to nod and trying to accomplish goals that aren't sync with your values.
Michael: Yeah and so I love that you said that in I'm constantly thinking about looking at my life as this reflection of where I was eleven almost twelve years ago, working for a fortune ten company, making six figures, driving this nice car, living in this great place but three hundred and fifty pounds, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking myself to sleep, living this life not an alignment with my mission, vision, values and who it was and I thought that I could be because I lacked this thing done called self esteem, self belief I didn't think because of the impact of my past that I was capable of ever doing anything. And I thought money was the solution for the problems that we have in our lives, I go and behold come to find that's not true at all and in fact it's the opposite and money often makes life exacerbated. How do you like, is there a practical way I guess is my question to be able to step into personal belief without how having this like dramatic life affirming moment in the way that many people do and for me that moment like many is rock bottom, where you look at your life and you go can't get worse than this so I might as well do something about it. How do you step into all of this if you don't believe in yourself to begin with?
Don: Well let's as you know well and I guess we all know; I don't know if there's a human being that's ever live on this planet that has sublime confidence that doesn't have doubts I mean that's sort of a venture human condition. Again, I think that the secret is so simple but most people don't do it and people ask me that question from different angles I say well it's a one-word answer then stop let's see what you about are you talking to that style. And that's well is it totally talks about mine we have however many tens of thousands of thoughts a day the mostly repetitive and until you can turn your mind off and from living in the past or the future continue can be have the present moment but then it's impossible to overcome those fears. And you know, what I found over time and with clients in this watching successful people is, if you can give your yourself a chance to get inside of yourself be in the present whether it's through journal kind of monthly view journal but certainly is really an effective modality or you know just being by yourself, what that's wonderful but you know you gotta have some blind time and not with your cell phone, not with the internet, not with other people but just allow yourself I didn't be in nature so that you can hear that we small voice that's been inside of you from the moment we see and it's there and it's telling you what it needs, what you need to be a balanced human being on this planet of existence it's the most complex problem there. I mean if you look to people's boundaries and not what biographies it's just fascinating to hear their stories because you look at you know these people who are super successful created they your but eventually are technically and invariably if when you look at their stories wherever they're told or this year there always bad, it's been always demons that they had to face. And early some of them never did it you know can you imagine something to go to their death there still caught in the trauma of those unresolved issues from childhood and I can take many stories right now.
I can think of one famous person that was became a billionaire and made great innovations in the world and on his deathbed this is almost speak company but he told his daughter who that kind on house we always thought she was one of the most unattractive women never seen on his deathbed there, didn't imagine that? He was a guy who was a household work, house all name and she ended not writing and bottom about that but you know not a happy person that person. I mean again added valued to world open, okay what about this journey, what about his spiritual emotional growth, how's is that working for, not very well actually.
Michael: Yeah and that's the hard truth about it I think about the opportunity that you have in life and you can create change in an instant. But change change only happens when you make change happen and often we're very paralyzed by the idea and I would love your opinion about this. I think people are paralyzed by the idea that they have potential, what do you think about that?
Don: Well so that there's some part of themselves it's just not expressed?
Michael: I think that there's a fear that they could be greater than what they've imagined possible, that was my experience like, for context let me say this. You know if I go rewind my life and I look at not even necessarily these rock bottom moments but these incremental moments of my life in which I was just not showing up for myself, just wasn't doing the things that I knew I was ignoring that gut filling, that reaction, that sensation that says you can do this because I was so scared that I could actually do it. Do you think that's a part of the human experience as well or do you think that's informed by the experiences that we have in our youth?
Don: Well, I think it's both. I think spoke what got you out of it, how are you able to take the next step breaks through.
Michael: Because I'm stubborn man like, if I look at my innate abilities like stubborn at one point was a flaw for me that I measured as something that kept me from success across the board and now I measure it was a offensive mechanism and now I measure it as a beautiful catalyst to success because it it becomes the driver for those moments in which I'm like your mission is to help impact the lives of two hundred and fifty million people, you gotta show up today. And so it's not pushing through to the point of breakdown because I have control over my life but it's more so this tool that I utilize so that I can reach that potential whereas as before it was the very thing holding me back.
Don: He must have gone through some major spiritual, emotional, physical to have been where you were and lost that epic amount of way and that offer of drugs and that's truly a phenomenal accomplishment. And you know a lot of people don't do that, most people don't do that to have stay lost in the matrix and you made that right decision in the spiritual decision to break out of that so problem to do.
Michael: Yeah, well I appreciate that like if I were to summarize a more simplified fashion like my goal is to get people out of the matrix. One of the most beautiful things when you under saying about the matrix is and I love this analogy because it is my favorite movie of all time I can quote it top to the bottom, I think it's in an analogy for life which I'm guessing you do too. And there's a scene in the movie where Neo walks into his about to meet oh my gosh name just get my brain while that's never happened before the oracle excuse me and the little boy is sitting on the ground and he starts to been the spoon and he says to Neo, well what you have to understand is there is no spoon. And what I take from that is this understanding that anything is possible, and that's my aim to give people tools so they can recognize that anything is possible. And I think so much of this journey starts with not the why part of it because I look at it them, people go well why do you wanna end generational trauma? I don't look at it from that perspective. I go it's the who? Well, who is it? I wanna do this because then that little boy or girl doesn't have to go through the same thing that I went through. And so one of the things I know that you talk about is starting with your who and not your why. What does that really mean?
Don: Well this is what you know it's just what we've been talking about this because guys have an hour. It's just being present with your beingness, I mean the card said I think therefore I am and he was break God but I think he was wrong no offense for me. I think I am we're not, our mind totally about that in this first look the power now and so another brilliant people. We are not our mind; sour minds are elegant computers and it's great but our being I don't even think we have a fraction of the capacity understanding what are being this is I think it's so fast I mean it's just endless. And so that's where the daunting when you think about it however awake and perceptive and intelligence you are to even grasp what that whole equation means and then it's not a matter of diligence as much as it's a matter of almost acceptance and how where you are on the universe and how the answers are there but it's not gonna to be an ego driven analytical process that this you it's going to be a spiritual emotional awakening is gonna get you here. And that's you know especially in this great country where we were built on so many great values for the most part some not are great but we were built on great values and you know so much of it is about performance and that's what capitalism is about and entrepreneurship is about but there's another side about which is the spiritual sign and what you wanna do with your marketing talents and your business talents and your entrepreneurial talents and you're gonna make the world a better place like you're trying to do and I'm trying to do or you just wanna sell more widgets. So you can you know make a ton of money and what else you wanna do with it, that's just one side of the equation and I don't think it's the essential piece that's what I'm saying my first agenda is do good and I guess so yours and I wanna use my talents, let's have fun and then of course making taking care of myself well can you gotta make money need to do that.
Michael: I love it. Don, before I ask you my last question my friend can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Don: Thank you. I just pleasure chatting with you the that finally. You can go to discoveryourtalentpodcast to listen to the podcast go to our website like I said we just recorded our one thousand interview and if there's a contact form there if they wanna know it for more information on his questions to me anybody else there. I'm on LinkedIn, just Don Hutcheson, you been find on that debt and got a Facebook Page and we have a Facebook Page for our podcast. The book the third edition of the book that's we're really proud of that it's I know well great reviews you talked about Steven Covey and others they would be that it's don't waste your talent and critical stuff discover what you do best and that's a Kendall version that's not expensive and it's really blueprint and everything we've been talk about here.
Michael: I love that. I'm gonna read this book Don because I'm fascinated with them and again lucky enough to go through Covey certifications and learn those things when working in corporate so I'm definitely gonna dive into this because I always wanna know more. My last question for you my friend is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Don: Yeah that's a beautiful question. I guess it means facing my brokenness and knowing that there's no essential thing on the planet in fact I was listening one of your previous interviews with the psychologist talking about that you know these successful people that don't think I think they need to go back into their past because they think they're whole, well nobody's whole you know from the moment we get started factors in life sometimes but usually not levels on the part of your parents or systems you know we just face adversity and it's like being athlete and you get banged up sometimes in a really profound way. And I think that we're all broken and if we have the courage and the consciousness and spiritual belief and whatever the cosmic power is that you believe that but we can come through that and heal those words and do what you're doing we're trying to do which is to pass along those learnings and those lessons and that love to try to make this complex metrics in the world, all together better.
Michael: Very, very well said my friend, could not agree more. Thank you so much for being here.
Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.
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My friends, Be Unbroken.
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For 48 years I have been an entrepreneur, coach and author. Except for the three years I served in the U.S. Army as a Russian Linguist, I have never had a “boss” and been fortunate to have created six innovative companies in the fields of career planning, publishing and advertising.
One question that has always fascinated me is: “What makes people successful?”
Why do some hugely talented people seem to bomb out of life, while others who seem less gifted lead lives that are so much more productive and fulfilling?
And regrettably, many people go through life with the strong suspicion that there is some valuable part of themselves that never finds expression.
Ongoing research into the topic and direct experience with thousands of individuals over the last 27 years has led my associates and me to conclude that the vast majority of highly successful people understand and actively use their innate talents and abilities in the work they do every day.
Natural talents and abilities are what an individual does innately well. If you work against them, work becomes laborious. If you work with them, you are far more engaged and fulfilled. They are not acquired through training or experience and are very stable over a lifetime from the age of 15 on.
I launched The Discover Your Talent Program to help individuals understand their natural talents and abilities and develop a personal vision and strategy for their education and career to live a life of success, satisfaction and freedom on their own terms. The foundation of this work is the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB), which is owned and administered by The Highlands Company LLC.
The HAB is an assessment that objectively measures your natural abilities and is the starting point to identify the education and career options best suited for you.
Each participant in The Discover Your Talent Program also benefits from the experience and insights of members of The Talent Team—all Highlands Certified Consultants. As veteran coaches and consultants, they will share their ideas and knowledge in the online Private Membership Group.